Pakistan polls 2013: Karachi poll stations declared sensitive, 8 shot dead in city



Karachi: A top police official in Pakistan on Monday said that nearly half of the 3,700 polling stations in Karachi have been declared as sensitive and where the military could be deployed in the upcoming general elections even as eight people were shot dead in the restive city.

The Additional Inspector-General of Police in Sindh, Ghulam Shabbir Sheikh told reporters today that nearly 50 per cent of the polling stations in Pakistan's largest city are sensitive.

According to the additional IG, there are nearly 3,700 polling stations in Karachi of which half have been declared sensitive, including those in the West district.

"We have made a deployment plan, the police will assist Rangers at the stations," he added.

"But where required the army can also be called in to secure these polling stations," he said.

The Election Commission has already said that Sindh is the most sensitive province as far as security in the elections is concerned with 4,629 highly sensitive and 3,621 sensitive polling stations.

The caretaker interior minister, Malik Habib today also told the media in Islamabad that there were real security threats in Karachi for the elections based on information by security agencies.

The minister's concerns over the situation in Karachi appear realistic as once again today in a shooting incident three persons were shot dead outside a hotel in the Lasbela area including an ASI of the police.

A police official said that unknown shooters, armed with automatic assault rifles, fired bursts at a hotel and shop located in downtown Karachi, which killed two people and injured three.

"After firing outside the hotel they chased one of the men, Shahzad into a shop and also shot him," he said.

One of the injured, the ASI died later in hospital while the condition of the other two also remains critical.

Police said a total of eight people had been killed in the city during the day in separate firing incidents.

PTI